Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Hate This Movie Already

I listen to a lot of loud music, but I definitely know for sure that my hearing isn't deteriorating yet.

Perhaps you are familiar with the new supernatural horror-thriller film The Messengers, which opened last week. I have not seen this movie. And I do not intend on seeing this movie, ever. Because the advertising campaign bugs the piss out of me.

Now, understand I'm not arguing against the thought put into these advertisements. The general idea to market the movie's concept is sound (no pun intended); if children and teenagers can hear frequencies that adults cannot, which is true, then why wouldn't it follow that they can see what adults cannot? That all is fine, and I can appreciate the thought involved.

But. But. The idea is fine, but the execution is absolutely inexcusable.

You see, it apparently isn't enough that the television advertisements remind us of this phenomenon by simply telling us. Of course not! Not in our modern climate of viral marketing and guerrilla advertising! (Incidentally, as you've probably already heard, people in Boston are really easily spooked by cartoon characters. But that's a topic for another day.)

No, these advertisements for the movie insist on demonstrating the concept -- and they demonstrate it by overlaying a high-frequency buzzing noise atop the commercial's conventional audio track.

Now, let me note at this point that I'm going to be twenty-three years old in two months. I make no claims to genuine maturity; I'm no less likely nowadays than previously to stay up past my bedtime playing video games, or to lie around in my pyjamas all day watching hockey and cartoons, or to eat more candy than is ever going to be good for me. But by definition I am neither a child nor a teenager, and have not been either for a very long time -- and besides that, this whole 'adulthood' lark is determined to sneak up on me whether I like it or not.

And so, me being an honest-to-goodness adult, there is no reason at all why I should be able to hear the horrific high-frequency hissing that they piggybacked onto the commercials. But I can hear it. And it is intensely, intensely annoying.


I swear. Good lord. This is not the way to go about advertising a movie, unless the movie is about noises so aggravating to the people who can hear them that thousands are driven insane and start killing entire cities' worth of people. (In fact, I'd be amazed if that hasn't been used as a plotline somewhere yet. And if it hasn't, man, I'm totally using it! But I digress.)

The ability to hear certain frequencies diminishes and disappears over time, such that younger ears can hear what older ears cannot; this is science, and nobody is questioning it. I assure you, however -- I really, really did not need to be reminded.

I wasn't even in the same room as the television the first time I heard the commercial air. I thought I was losing my mind, and losing my mind would be a genuine possibility if that noise were all I heard for extended periods of time. God.

I hate you, The Messengers. I hope you tank. I hope you tank so hard that--



Junkhouse - Fuzz [buy]
Peter Gabriel - And Through the Wire [buy]
I Mother Earth - Not Quite Sonic [buy]


Tyler said...

I tried listening on the website.

I can sort of hear it but not well. It sounded like that sound if you were in silence or when you know a TV is on in the house. My sister however jumped away and yelped a bit when hearing it (she's 15). Maybe I've had the headphones on too loudly lately. Supposedly, people all the way into their 30's are claiming to hear it though. If I had it as a ringtone, I'd just think I was hearing things and I couldn't hear it from a metre away which supposedly is the case with teachers.

Is this what it sounds like to you or am I going deaf?

James Howard said...

Well, hell, let's find out!

Granted that this is going to be a website ringtone rather than a television ad, so the sound will probably be lower quality than






God, ow. Okay. Just ow.

I assure you -- I can hear a television when it shows a black screen but it's been left on, and that noise on the website is much sharper than a mere idle TV.

It's hard to explain what exactly it does sound like (because, after all, we're dealing with frequencies that aren't supposed to be used) -- but I can even hear this thing at the lowest volume settings, and it is absolutely awful. It even does this horrible on-off-on-off thing while you listen to it -- like what a hotel lobby bell would sound like if instead of metal it were made entirely out of pure hatred.

So. Yes. I have concluded from that website that you may be losing your hearing, and that I seriously hate not only that noise but the people responsible for it.

Ow. Jesus. I'm all pissed off now just from hearing that.

Tyler said...

Ugh, I just heard it from a different computer and it's a lot more piercing. I guess hearing it from a really crappy speaker that only works on the right side is a little less intense then headphones. And I knew I noticed that on and off thing. It sounded something like BEEEP beep beep BEEEP beep beep whereas my sister claimed to just hear one long beep.

My mother is freaking out though because she can't hear a thing even if her ear is right by the speaker.